Advertisement

UPDATE: Arrests announced in fatal Winnipeg rooming house fire exactly one year later

Winnipeg police continue to search for suspects in fatal arson fire in North Point Douglas. File / Josh Peterson / Submitted

One year after a fatal rooming house in North Point Douglas, Winnipeg police have announced arrests into the homicide investigation.

John Bendon, 61, and Brenda Campbell, 51, both died in the blaze on Austin Street North on July 7, 2016. Officers confirmed days later that the fire was intentionally set and was considered a homicide investigation.

READ MORE: Deadly Austin St North fire appears to be intentionally set: Police

Friday marks one year since the fire and police announced the arrests of Jonathan Graham Barstad, 31, and Edward Wade Beardy, 36.

Both face charges of second-degree murder and arson.

Chair of the Point Douglas Residents Committee, Sel Burrows, said that news brings both happiness and sadness.

Story continues below advertisement

“Justice for Brenda and John, who died in the fire, is wonderful and we’re really pleased with police,” Burrows said.

Nine people were living in the house at 186 Austin St. N, but at the time of the fire there were 15 people inside.

Burrows said he remembers the blaze quite well.

“It was horrible, it was absolutely horrible,” he recalled. “People were trying to put the fire out with garden hoses and the fire was so fierce.”

Burrows has been campaigning for more inspections in rooming houses in Winnipeg. In November, city council approved new measures in hopes of avoiding fatal fires in the future.

“I felt guilty,” Burrows admitted when asked for his reaction when he learned two people had died. “Somehow, we should have been able to do more.”

WATCH: Recommendations aimed at protecting Winnipeg’s rooming houses at city council

Click to play video: 'Recommendations aimed at protecting Winnipeg’s rooming houses at city council Tuesday' Recommendations aimed at protecting Winnipeg’s rooming houses at city council Tuesday
Recommendations aimed at protecting Winnipeg’s rooming houses at city council Tuesday – Apr 17, 2017

Sponsored content